GEELONG’S Volunteer Coast Guard flotilla needs more helpers for the upcoming peak summer period.
It averages up to 60 assists a year from its St Helens base but its volunteer numbers have dwindled to just 20 individuals, with majority of its members still under probation.
Media liaison officer and trainee skipper Tony Warren said the flotilla needed to train up more volunteers so they could continue their lifesaving work.
“In the middle of the year, not too many people go out in boats and those who do are generally pretty experienced,” he said.
“But the summer months are quite the opposite where you get people who haven’t been in a boat before or run out fuel, hit sandbars, things like that.
“We do a lot of first responder call-outs for police and our flotilla is also a CFA volunteer brigade, so there’s very much a sense of reward — it doesn’t get much better than the feeling that you’ve actively helped somebody and potentially saved their life.”
The ex-police officer has been a volunteer for five years and said one of the benefits was gaining qualifications recognised by the Australian Maritime Safety Authority.
While many volunteer roles involve boat duty, landlubbers are also welcome at the coast guard.
The organisation is also encouraging women and younger volunteers to sign up.
“We only ask for two days a month but volunteers can certainly come down more often,” Mr Warren said.
For more information, phone administration officer Ken Whitehead on 0407 043 957, recruitment officer Eric Logan on 0455 284 239 or visitcoastguard.com.au
This news article was written by: Eliza Sum for The Geelong Advertiser